As much as it often pains me to admit it, I am but a humble employee of corporate America. I live in New York City, I have bills and rent and well, I still need health insurance. (We shall see, Obamacare.) But like many who have gotten onboard the spiritual path, I also lead somewhat of a double life. I am half-yogi, half-cubicle. As a Libra, I have found that it’s the balance of these two entities that is crucial to my survival and wellbeing. If I throw the scales off balance, then my whole life can fall into disarray.
So what did I do to embark upon the journey that set me into equilibrium? I got certified to teach yoga, naturally. It was about two years ago to date that I began the very transformative, therapeutic life-changing process, which hundreds of thousands of avid-yogis have done before me. And then after me. In fact I’d be curious to know the exact facts and figures of the current yoga marketplace that is seemingly oversaturated with yoga teachers. The mind reels at the possibilities.
Much like graduating from college with big dreams and aspirations, when one graduates from yoga school with the whole world at her feet, she cannot help but wonder, “Well, NOW what?!”
I applaud those teachers who’ve taken their certification by the reins and found a way to take the great flying leap and teach yoga for a living. But as I’ve already found through similar aspirations of wanting to become a writer, yoga teachers in New York City are about a dime a dozen, if not more.
So, as the cynical New Yorker I allowed myself to become, I let my ego talk me out of the possibility of freeing myself from my corporate shackles. Because after all, a dream to be a writer and to teach yoga and to be my own boss was just a silly pipedream, was it not? But now two years later, long after hanging up my teacher’s hat (but oh no, not my yoga mat!) I have found myself called back once more to my saving graces.
Sure, I continued my yoga practice while maintaining a full time job, but there was something vital still missing. The voice inside my head that has been encouraging me all this time, to become who I really am. But is teaching yoga my life's purpose? I'm still not entirely sure, but I would have never known one way or the other had I not tried. It was like I built up some kind of wall for myself, convinced that I wasn't good enough. What I have learned from taking the plunge however, is that I feel really, really good. And this is so crucial!
No, I haven’t quit my job yet, but lo and behold, I’ve at long last made at least a little time for myself to teach!
And was that first class terrifying?
Absolutely. But it was necessary in order to break down those walls I created around myself, blocking me from my path. Knocking down those walls has created a chain reaction—allowing more space into my life. For instance, I’ve found some time to sit down and write again, because those blocks have been cleared. And all it took was letting go of all that negative self-talk and allowing myself to reconnect with my true voice (my highest self!) and open up to the possibilities. And what do you know? It was so much easier to just do something, than spending the last two years convincing myself otherwise.
After a recent surgery on an old foot injury (another longtime excuse I used to hold myself back!) I began breaking the old patterns by trying out a new yoga studio. That’s when it dawned on me that all I had to do was open my mouth and make a connection. What's the worst that could happen when we take a risk?
I now teach at that very studio once a week through a wonderful mentorship program. The experience thus far has been equally rewarding and challenging. Oh, the stories I could tell from Day 1 alone! But another time for that.
When you find yourself stuck it's because you need to try new things. That is the only way that growth is possible. Do not ever underestimate what you are capable of! If you’re in the market to be a yoga teacher, try to hang onto your job while you smooth your way into the transition.
Just as you would after college, try to find a “yoga internship” to get some contact hours and real life teaching experience. And most importantly, no matter how busy you are, you have got to make time to just do what you love. This is the only way you will ever be able to maintain balance: the key to personal growth.
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